Tiny Home, Big Butt

So me and my girlfriend, Catherine, have finally moved in together! Out of student digs for her and out of lodging for me. We searched for quite a while for a house that was both within our budget and in a good location. We both work part time and I work in town so we needed somewhere fairly cheap and ideally within walking distance of my job. Eventually we came across a cute little studio flat in Falmouth. It’s furnished, has bills included and is affordable. We initially didn’t get it, but after things fell through with someone else we got the glorious news that the flat was ours if we wanted it! We packed up all of our belongings in one week and moved in.

The only problem is that the flat is very small. It is essentially a converted garage space under an existing house. We had been fantasising about tiny living for quite some time but didn’t think it would happen so soon. Lodging has already taught me some valuable lessons in downsizing however I still had a lot of my possessions stowed away in my friends garage. In the past week I’ve managed to roughly half the stuff I own but after moving in I can see I still own way too much clutter for this life to be comfortable. We are still surrounded by boxes and crap.

This blog series is going to be about our new life in our tiny home. I’m going to talk about downsizing, decluttering and cleansing your life of unneeded clutter. Tiny living is going to be a fun and interesting ride and I thought it would be super fun to share it. I’m also going to talk about other home related things like cooking, cleaning and beauty routines. Now I’m living in my own space once again and buying all my own stuff I really want to get back to eating healthily and using eco friendly products wherever possible. Hopefully documenting all of this will keep me accountable and keep you interested and entertained!

So join me on my journey to a more sustainable, clutter free, tiny home!  

(Ps- The title was inspired by something funny Catherine said to me so thank you boo for the input!)

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Thrifting Tips from a Thrifting Queen

I love thrift shopping. I hate buying new clothes. It’s expensive, stressful and environmentally unfriendly. I live in the UK where thrift shopping comes in many forms. My prefered place to thrift is charity shops because they tend to be pretty cheap, easily accessible, varied and of course it’s a great way to donate to charity. There’s also plenty of vintage shops for when you want something a little more specific, although often more expensive but worth it for the curated selection. I also love pop up things like flea markets, car boot sales, clothes swapping events and local bizarres.

People often comment on my magical ability to always find awesome second hand goodies because apparently this is something a lot of people struggle with. So today I’m going to share my thrifting tips with you in the hopes it will lead you onto a magical life of thrifting glory. A few little side notes first- I’m 5ft 5, a UK size 14-16 with UK size 7 feet so fairly average making thrifting for me a little easier than it may be for some people. However don’t let that deter you! There’s tips here to help everyone and I promise there are treasures out there to suit everyone.

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1- Keep a thrifting wish list. Thrift shops can sometimes be a little overwhelming with so many different items all jumbled together and I know that can be off putting. Having a wish list gives you a goal and takes out some of the overwhelm. This can be a list of specific items you want to find or something more general like a cut, style or colour. Sometimes I will just have a vision of something I want (right now it’s mid length lilac shorts) and I will go on a mission to find the perfect item. Write this list down or add it to your notes on your phone so whenever you find the opportunity to pop into a second hand shop you have a good starting point.

2- Set a price limit or item limit. This can be a limit for your whole shopping trip- “I won’t spend more than £20 or get more than five things” or a limit for the spend on an individual item. I have a general rule that unless it’s shoes, a coat/jacket or designer I won’t spend more than £5 on an item in a charity shop. I allow more if I’m in a speciality shop like a vintage shop. Having rules like this in place stop you from getting carried away and coming home with way more than you set out to find. Obviously these rules are your own and you can break them if the thrifting gods are being particularly nice to you that day, but I find self imposed guidelines can be helpful.

3- Be persistent. This is a biggie. People often get discouraged if they go into a charity shop and come away with nothing, and I totally get that. But that’s just the nature of second hand shopping. The stock rotates super frequently so sometimes you won’t find anything at all, other times you might be attacked by fabulous finds. Keep going back, stick to it. I have a favourite charity shop that I go to every week and I try to nip into most of my local ones on a monthly basis because you never know what’s going to show up.

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4- Always try things on. I know this one seems kinda obvious but it’s super important when thrift shopping. With so many different brands all under one roof sizing can be a little tricky. Sure, sometimes if it’s something simple like a T-shirt you can probably tell straight off the bat whether it’s going to fit your body but with other things, especially dresses and trousers I would recommend always trying stuff on. Another point to mention is lots of second hand shops don’t accept returns so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

5- Learn some basic sewing techniques. Sewing is a great skill to have on hand anyway but particularly helpful if you thrift a lot. This way you can fix on new buttons, mend small tears, take things in, shorten hems etc. Being able to sew opens up a world of possibilities. Like that top but wish it was cropped? No problem! Chop the bottom off and re-hem it! There are plenty of books and youtube tutorials to help you learn how to sew and supplies can be super cheap so it’s worth giving a go. You could of course rope a friend or family member into helping you if they already have the skills. I recently got a really cool pair of orange corduroy trousers in a charity shop and they were only £2 because they had a small rip by one of the belt loops. As the material was quite thick I asked my friend if she could fix it up using her sewing machine and she kindly did just that and now my trousers are good as new. Make do and mend my friends.

6- Look in all the sections. Check outside your usual size range, check in the “men’s” section, check in with the kids clothes and always have a peek at the bric-a-brac. Because of the wide variety of stuff in these kinds of shops it’s always worth looking around as thoroughly as possible. There could be gems hiding anywhere, especially in less curated shops like charity shops. Wonderful pieces can sometimes be overlooked and end up at the back of the rack, just waiting to be discovered and cherished.

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7- Think about your existing wardrobe/home decor. Whenever you are unsure about a piece think about items you already own that would look good with it. You may love that multicoloured pom-pom sweater but what would you wear it with? This is a good tip for shopping in general but particularly helpful in the minefield of thrifting. It can also be good to buy things that are similar (but not identical) to things you already own. Maybe there’s a colour or shape that you love, getting more things with that same factor should be a sure fire bet.

8- Keep an eye out for good brands. I always check the labels of anything I’m considering buying. Okay, you might not find any Alexander McQueen in your local Cancer Research shop (although I’m sure that could happen) but you can find some pretty good brands. Looking out for these good brands is a good way to make your money stretch- you could buy a second hand Primark top for the same price as a second hand top from Topshop. I’ve purchased stuff from Henry Holland and Karen Millen for example and they were pretty much the same price as any other similar items of lesser quality. Quality is especially important when buying second hand clothes that have had a bit of wear. So always employ those detective skills. You can even find lots of clothes that are brand new, still with tags on if you keep your eyes peeled.

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So that’s my tips for thrifting successfully. Most of these tips are more focused towards UK charity shops because that’s what I know best but I’m sure lots of these are transferable to all types of thrift shopping. There are also lots of online thrift shops and good old Ebay if you can’t easily get out. I have no real experience with thrifting online but it might be a fun option to explore.  I hope you found these tips useful and interesting, happy thrifting!

My Veganniversary and My Top 5 Tips For New Vegans

Yesterday, the 10th of July 2016, marked one year of me being vegan. I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown. Eating vegan and buying cruelty free products has become second nature to me. It’s just so much easier than I ever thought it could be. It’s also honestly one of the best decisions I have ever made. I feel so much better physically and spiritually since cutting all of that crap out of my life. Not to mention the fact that I am helping save the animals and protect the environment in the process. Don’t ever think that one person can’t make a difference because that is far from the truth. So many of my friends have approached me and asked for tips on how to go vegan or simply how to eat a more plant based diet, a few of those people have now taken the leap into full veganism. So if that doesn’t prove that one person can make a difference then I don’t know what does.

I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share my tips and advice for going and staying vegan. This is by no means an exhaustive list but hey, it’s a start!

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1- The Internet is your best friend

This seems like a pretty obvious point to make but the internet has helped me so much with ideas and support. Joining Facebook groups has been a big help. What Fat Vegans Eat is great for foodie inspiration and Glo Vegan Hangout is such a friendly group to ask questions and share things. Youtube is another great source of foodie inspiration and support. Some of my favourite vegan channels are Cheap Lazy Vegan, The Vegan Corner and Supreme Banana. Blogs of course are also a great place to go for recipe ideas Oh She Glows is always a great go to, I also love The Vegan Stoner and a new favourite of mine is Jenny Mustard, a blog with yummy recipes and minimalist living if your into that sort of thing. The Vegan Womble is a great site to find out what products are vegan in various shops and Barnivore is an amazing search tool to find out what alcoholic beverages are vegan. And finally I will mention Happy Cow which is a website and app that tells you where the nearest vegan and vegetarian cafes are, super helpful especially if you are travelling.

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2- Adapt your favourite recipes and meals

You don’t have to give up all the things you love. Pretty much anything can be veganised. pizza, spaghetti bolognaise, cottage pie, cheesecake, macaroni cheese and even meringues! Either invest in a good vegan cookbook or search the internet, it’s literally all possible! Pro tip- if you want a nice simple recipe always remember to search “simple” or “easy” along with what you are searching for.

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3- Find ready made alternatives

If you are super worried about giving up things like chicken nuggets, beef burgers, sausages, fish fingers etc then don’t worry! Fake meat products have come a long way in recent years and taste pretty damn close to the real thing just without the cruelty! These sorts or products are pretty widely available with lots of supermarkets even having their own brand versions, just make sure to check the ingredients for any sneaky egg or milk, yuck! Holland and Barrett is also a godsend for fake meat products. The same applies to cheese but I’ve written a whole post about that so I will link that for you here. These products can work out a little pricey and aren’t always the healthiest but they are great for when you are transitioning or for an occasional treat.

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4- Make use of your freezer 

You know I said the internet was your best friend? Well make way for another bestie in the form of your freezer! Making sure you always have some frozen mixed veg on hand is so helpful. It’s cheap, healthy and just as fresh as the… well… fresh stuff! Just chuck it into chillies, stews, pies or just boil or steam some up as a side dish. It’s a great stand by for when you don’t have anything fresh in the house. The same applies to frozen fruit, it’s perfect in smoothies, with cereals or over porridge and rice pudding. Freezing your own fruit and veggies is also something I do alot. Sometimes you just don’t use something up before it’s about to go off so just chop it up, stick it in a freezer bag and throw it in to freeze. This is also the ideal thing to do when your favourite fruits and veggies are on offer or if you get stuff when it’s reduced at the end of the day. Saving you money and time. Making big batches of things and freezing them is a well know time saver for busy people and of course this extends to busy vegan people. Make a big chilli or sauce or whatever and freeze it for later. Quick, simple, healthy, cheap and vegan what more could you want?

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5- Transition products over slowly

Cosmetics, lotions, clothes, toothpaste, washing up liquid- these things amongst others can sadly not be vegan. A quick google search on a product or brand should tell you if it’s vegan and cruelty free. If you own products that are not vegan then don’t panic! You don’t need to up and throw away everything you own. Transition slowly and in a way that works for you. Use up any cosmetics and household products that you have that may not be vegan then just replace them with vegan versions when they are finished. If you can afford to donate your leather shoes to a charity shop and buy yourself some new faux leather shoes then do so but if you can’t afford to then continue wearing them until they wear out or you an afford to replace them. The same applies to any wool or silk items you may own.

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Always remember that veganism isn’t about perfection- it’s about trying your best. The Vegan Society defines veganism as being “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” 

I’m working on a sort of vegan master post full of my favourite vegan brands, products, food, places etc. I’m not sure whether that’s going to be one massive post or a series or what yet so please let me know what you think in the comments. Also let me know if this list was helpful to you and feel free to share any of your own tips.

Toodles.

“But I can’t live without cheese!”

As you will know if you know me or keep up with my blog I am now vegan! This has been a long time coming, I had been vegetarian since I was 13 and had been cutting back my dairy intake since moving away from home about 2 years ago. But about four months ago something clicked and I realised I needed to take the plunge. I’m not 100% sure why I decided that day that it was the right time, but clearly it was because I haven’t looked back. Warning- lots of kinda crappy photos of really yummy food (mainly pizzas) ahead!

This was meant to be a post about all the changes, both big and small, I have made on my vegan journey. I was going to talk about how you can make the transition smooth and easy… but instead I ended up rambling on about cheese. So I’m just gonna work with that for this post. Maybe I will write the post I was intending on writing at some point in the future, maybe I won’t. Let me know in the comments if you would like that and I will try my hardest to do so without getting distracted.

I was one of those people who always used to say “Yeah I could totally go vegan… except for cheese… I could never give up cheese”. Now I know you don’t have to give up cheese as a vegan! Vegan cheese has a bit of a reputation, people think it’s bad and is never going to live up to it’s dairy counterpart. This simply isn’t true. My personal favourite vegan cheese is Violife Original. Not only is it super yummy (it kinda tastes like edam but if you leave it open for a few days it matures a bit and tastes more cheddary) but it’s also super accessible; I buy mine in ASDA and it only costs £2.28! I love using it on pizza or just in a sandwich. It’s available in most supermarkets, healthfood stores and Holland and Barret and also comes in other varieties like cheddar and pizza cheese (although the original melts pretty well in my opinion).

If Violife isn’t for you then there’s loads of alternative out there, just pop to your local healthfood store and look in the fridge, there’s bound to be at least a few different brands. You can also make your own using soy milk or cashews or anything on this great list! Or if you just want that cheesy flavour how about trying Nutritional Yeast! It has a really cheesy flavour and is great to sprinkle over dishes much like parmesan. It also dissolves in liquid so can be used to make a great cheese sauce as well as containing lots of B12 goodness and being available at most healthfood stores, online and in some supermarkets in the freefrom section.

There are ready made food items involving vegan cheese too for those lazy days. I got the pizza and potato skins from Holland and Barret (I swear this isn’t sponsored by them, I just shop there a lot). The pizza was okay but the potato skins were amazing, although I currently cannot remember the brand name. Filled with gooey yummy vegan cheese and spicy meat free chorizo. Honestly one of the best things I have ever eaten. Some pizza places have vegan cheese as an option such as Village Pizza, I ordered from there twice when I was in London a few weeks ago, no regrets. You can also ask for no cheese and add your own at home (although do check that the base is vegan before doing this).

These cheese alternative not only cut out cruelty from your diet but they are all healthier than their dairy counterparts, yay! I hope this has inspired you to maybe think outside the box when it comes to cheese. If you want to know more about what vegan options there are in your area maybe have a look on facebook and see if there’s a page for local vegans like my local page Cornwall Vegans. Also be on the lookout for local vegan festivals- there were loads of stalls with different types of fancy vegan cheese at Vegfest so I know there’s more out there. I know I haven’t mentioned all the different brands and recipes that are out there so feel free to leave any more cheesy ideas in the comments.

Toodles.

Dance Like There’s Nobody Watching

I was going back through my saved drafts on this blog and I came across one from about a year ago. There was no writing, just a link. A link that turns out to be one of the funniest clips of me ever from years ago:

My Crazy Kids Pt 1 - Emma

Yep, that’s little old me, 6 whole years ago! I love the enthusiasm, joy and just not-giving-a-fuck-nes I appear to have in this clip. I need to work on capturing that more in my everyday life. I need to just be myself and not get self concious about things. 15 year old Emma, thank you for inspiring present day 21 year old Emma, lets go kick life in the butt and have a silly old boogie while doing it!

Toodles.

I’d do it all again, I think you’re my best friend… Fall Out Boy at Wembley

So I made 14 year old Emma very happy the other day… I went to go see Fall Out Boy play live at Wembley Arena on the 12th of October! I went with Taylor and her sibling Emma (attack of the Emma’s, tee hee). It was such a big deal to me and I just have to share it with you. This is going to be a bit of a review/just me going on about how awesome the experience was.

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We got there a little bit later than intended so missed the first support act but we still managed to see both Matt and Kim and Professor Green. I didn’t think I had ever heard of Matt and Kim but turns out I was wrong and had watched the video for their song “Hey Now” recently and really enjoyed it. They are a really fun group that combines pop, pop-punk and dance with some dubstep vibes in a really awesome upbeat way. They had so much energy and really left an impression on me.

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Professor Green honestly isn’t really my cup of tea and I’m still slightly confused as to why Fall Out Boy chose him to be a support act. He did however perform the one song I really do like of his “Read all About it” which is usually sung with Emeli Sande. The singer in place of Emeli at this gig was amazing, she had such a powerful, soulful voice. The lights dimmed and everyone swayed their phones so the whole arena looked like it was full of stars. I will admit this was the first on many happy tears from me throughout the night.

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While Fall Out Boy were setting up music was being played over the sound system, as usually happens at gigs. Plenty of pop-punk classics had played and people kinda bobbed along however when “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars came on the crowd had a wee moment of awesome. Everyone started dancing and singing along and it was a pretty awesome moment of harmony, considering the band we had all come to see hadn’t even made an appearance yet.

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When Fall Out Boy hit the stage my heart did a happy flip. The first notes of “Sugar We’re Going Down” filled the arena and I felt like an emo teenager once again. It’s amazing how music can really take you back. I had painted my nails black that morning in anticipation for reliving those years. In my opinion, starting with “Sugar We’re Going Down” was the absolute perfect choice. It’s just so catchy, upbeat and to me just represents Fall Out Boys music wonderfully. Yeah it is a little bit old-school and sounds pretty different to their newer stuff but it was still a fabulous choice.

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The set had a nice mixture of music from most of their albums which was really nice. I was so pleased when they played “Hum Hallelujah” 2007’s “Infinity On High”. This was the first albums I ever owned of theirs, I remember I got it the same Christmas I got “The Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance. “Hum Hallelujah” has always been one of my favourite songs from the album and it sounded amazing live, especially with the crowd joining in on the repeated “Hallelujah” section giving it a really magical energy. After the gig when looking up the set list I realised this was the first time they had performed it live since 2013 making it extra special.

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Now for more tears in the shape of “The Kids Aren’t Alright”. This song always gets me, there’s just something about the lyrics and the arrangement and the way it builds that always makes me a bit of an emotional wreck. Pair that with singing along to the lyrics “and in the end I’d do it all again, I think you’re my best friend” while holding hands with your best friend of 10 years whilst watching your favourite band it all becomes a bit too much but in a good way.

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A song everyone was waiting for was “This Ain’t a Scene, it’s an Arms Race” and boy it didn’t disappoint. The energy from the band and the almost shouted bridge filled the room with passion. We all raised our fist in the air and mumbled those words in the way every Fall Out Boy fan has come to know and love. Despite being in the seated stalls and the back we all still stood up and had a little boogie because how can anyone resist.

Now on to the lovely two song acoustic set performed on a mini stage in the centre of the audience. The two songs they opted to perform this way were “Irresistible” and “Young Volcanoes”. Both worked amazingly well in this format. It was also nice to have them in amongst everyone, sharing that cosy feeling of all gathering around an acoustic guitar and having a sing song. As they were moving back to the main stage Andy Hurley treated us to an amazing 5 minute drum solo mash up including parts of the Game of Thrones theme tune! It was freaking epic! I have found a small clip of the solo on Youtube if you want to see the awesomeness for yourself.

The title track for their most recent album “American Beauty/American Psycho went down well. It’s a pretty dancey, rebellious, chanting song which makes it an instant hit and crowd pleaser. A few songs later they played “Uma Thurman”, another track from that album and another great song to dance to, especially if you are dancing like the lady herself. Pete Wentz introduced the song in a wonderfully heart warming way- he told us about how often people tell them how their music has helped them lose weight or get through a break up or even saved their lives. He told us that that’s not the case- we did those things, the music may have helped but we were strong and we got through it and we should never forget that. He said that we all have that moment when we realise we can move mountains; which segwayed nicely into the song’s opening lyrics. Thank you Pete and all of Fall Out Boy for helping me become the person who I am today and helping me find that strength within.

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The song I had been waiting for was “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs and as soon as I saw the backdrop change to the lit up “FOB” and red velvet curtains I knew that moment had come. “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” was the song that really got me into Fall Out Boy. There was a period when I was really into the Kerrang TV channel and this was always on. Since then it has taken on many meanings and is probably my favourite breakup song ever.

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The final song before the inevitable encore was “Centuries” which is possibly the most epic song from “American Beauty/American Psycho”, I mean with the lyrics “Some legends are told, some turn to dust or to gold, but you will remember me, remember me for centuries” how could it not be?! A perfect song to end a concert with… although as we all know it’s not the last song.

The encore consisted of “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (light em up)” and “Saturday”. “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” will always excite me, and most Fall Out Boy fans as it was the first song they released when they came of of their seemingly never ending hiatus a few years ago. The sing along “ohs” in the song make it another great song for a live concert. They ended in traditional Fall Out Boy manner playing their old favourite “Saturday”. I love this song, but then again I love every song they have ever released, so for me it was a good ending point. It’s also a bit more of a mellow song so is a great way to calm down a bit before heading out back into the real world.

And that’s that! Sorry if it went on a bit! I made a playlist of the set if anyone wants to give it a listen and pretend they were there. I hope you enjoyed this, let me know if you like Fall Out Boy, were there or have seen or will see them soon!

(Most of the wonderful and somewhat blurry photos courtesy of Taylor Craigie, thanks babe!)

Toodles.

Vegan Food Adventures- London Vegfest 2015

Hey peeps, first off I am so sorry its been so long. I have no real explanation for my absence but I suppose that’s just life. Anyway I’m back and I’m inspired. I just got back from a weekend away in London and time away always refreshes my mind. I thought it would be fun to share my weekend with you but I think I’m going to share it in two parts. Part one being just general London things with Saskia and part two being about seeing Fall Out Boy at Wembley! So here I am, hopping back on the blogging train.

As any trip to London for me does, this one started with an 8 hour journey spread over two trains and one coach. I could just go by train but hell no to spending all that money when I could just take a £10 Megabus. I grabbed my favourite juice (pinapple, orange and strawberry with an energy shit) from Fuel in Plymouth before hitting the road. The journey was pretty good although I procrastinated the whole way and did absolutely nothing productive. The woman next to me, however, seemed to be writing a very interested essay about anime in popular culture. I was met with hugs and cous-cous when I arrived and me and Saskia stayed up till ridiculous o’clock catching and discussing everything and anything.

Saturday’s main aim was to go to Camden to visit Cookies and Scream. I had heard so much about Cookies and Scream and wanted to see if it could possibly live up to the hype, and holy cow it did and then some! It’s an awesome vegan and gluten free bakery that serves the most amazing milkshakes, cookie sandwiches and cakes you will ever consume! Saskia isn’t vegan but she said you couldn’t even tell the difference. I might have gotten a bit over excited and spent £15! I did however get an icecream-cookie sandwich, a cookie dough milkshake, an oatmeal cookie, banana bread and apple and cinnamon cake. The first two things I nommed on there and then and the others were spread across the weekend. Seriously amazing food and I would recommend it to anyone who loves sweet things.

We also stumbled upon a photobooth in Camden Lock Market and we never pass up the opportunity to be vain. These ones came out pretty well although I have no idea what my face is doing in that last one. We wandered back through Camden, popping into the Irregular choice store on the way. RuPaul was playing over the speakers so we had a little boogie and Saskia fell in love with a pair or gorgeous boots she couldn’t afford.

By this point we were both super sleepy so we headed back to Saskia’s for a nap sesh. For tea we ordered pizza from Village Pizza. They have a whole vegan section on their menu which was so cool and continent. I went for the vegan Hickory Chicken Pizza which came on a bbq base. It was so freaking yummy! That evening Saskia’s boyfriend George and our friend Jordan came over and we stayed up late getting drunk on pimms and watching comedy horror movies. Yet again we went to bed at silly o’clock, ooops!

Then it was time to hit up Vegfest! I was so excited when Saskia said she would go with me and even more excited when I realised it would be super easy to get to on the tube from hers. Vegfest is a all vegan festival that happens every year in London in October over the course of a weekend. There’s food stalls, charities, apparel, beauty products, everything really. Everything is 100% vegan and 100% cruelty free. We got there just before lunch and did a quick loop round all the stalls, just browsing and grabbing free samples.

For lunch we both had these amazing massive wraps. They were both stuffed full of yummy salads and sauces. Mine also had falafel and Saskia opted for some sort of carrot and coriander patty in hers. They were £8 which is pretty steep for a lunch but no kidding this took me half and hour to eat. It was so filling and defiantly worth the long queue and the money.

After lunch we headed over to the stall I was most excited by All Glamour No Guts. They sell loads of awesome vegan apparel and I was really excited to get my hands on some. They were super nice people and recognised me from instagram (woo). I brought the awesome tote bag and tattoo heart style necklace from them. I love the necklace and have been wearing it almost non-stop ever since. We then wandered round a little bit more picking things up here and there including a bottle of bubble tea type stuff from Jools. I loved how the didn’t actually have any products for sale- you just got a free bottle if you liked them on a social media site. that is understanding the power of social media. One thing I really enjoyed about Vegfest is how no one was pushy or annoying. You felt totally free to just wander around without being dragged into a stall against your will. We’ve already decided we want to go back again next year!

Next it was on to Oxford street for a wee bit of shopping. I just picked up some face powder from lush and a skirt and dress from H&M, oooh and some bubble tea from Bubbleology in Topshop. We then headed back to Saskia’s where I enjoyed my whole foods juice I had picked up the day before, basically because I loved then name, and the most amazing cupcake from Trina’s Delicacies that I brought at Vegfest. I had a black forest cupcake and it was the fluffiest cupcake I have ever eaten, om nom nom! and the fruity filling was nice and tart which complimented the super sweet icing, it was simply sheer cupcake perfection!

The guys came over again that evening and we watched Grabbers on Netflix. It was a really funny movie and if you like comedy horrors and have a Netflix account then you should totally watch it. We also ordered vegan pizza again. It’s just such a novelty to me that I had to indulge myself while I could. If I lived in London I could see me being a very fat vegan indeed. I actually got a pretty decent nights sleep that night which is exactly what I needed as the next day I was off to see Fall Out Boy! But more on that next time…

Toodles.

The Importance of Adventure

Adventure? What’s the first thing that pops into your head? I always used to hear the word “adventure” and think of grand explorations to foreign lands, trekking up mountains or discovering ancient cities. Lately I’ve come to realise that adventuring doesn’t have to be so grand, it’s simply stepping outside of your comfort zone.

On Monday I decided to go for a walk and for some unknown reason I decided it would be a great idea to climb all the way across the rocks from one beach to another, alone and in a maxi dress. It was a bit tricky and I did have a few “what the fuck am I doing?” moments but it was a lot of fun. Today I went to the gym on my own for the first time and then later for tea I brought a curry sauce I had never tried before. These are all adventures. Yes, some of them may be bigger than others but they were all things that took me out of my comfort zone and added some extra fun to my day.

I think we all need a little bit more adventure in our lives to help keep things fresh and exciting. I’ve come up with a few little ways you can add adventure to your life and mix things up a little bit.

1- Try a new food or recipe

You know that crazy cake you saw on the Great British Bake off one year and thought you could do a better job? Yep, well now is the time to do just that! Whip out your whisk and get going. You could always try something totally new like a vegan dish or something from a different culture. The internet is full of amazing and simple recipes or you could dust off some old cookery books and take your inspiration from there. There are literally billions of recipes in this world so have fun with it and don’t worry too much about messing up, that’s all part of the fun.

2- Take a different route to work/school/the shops

This one can be as drastic of as simple as you want. You could schedule in some extra time and go completely out of your way, enjoying the walk and soaking in the new environment. On the other hand you could just take a slightly different road that may take a tiny bit longer or even work out quicker, only time will tell. Google maps is your friend here if you are scared of getting lost.

3- Wear something from the back of your wardrobe

We all have those few items that we keep holding onto because we loved them once and just can’t bear to part with them. Maybe take them out of hibernation and give them a wear, you might just fall back in love with them, or maybe you will feel super uncomfortable and decide to finally get rid of it. Either way something good has happened and you can make another adventure out of this by doing a full wardrobe clear out and going to a charity shop to donate the things you don’t want any more.

4- Dye your hair a bright colour with semi permanent dye/chalk

Now for one that is a little braver and might not be for everyone. As someone with pink hair I can tell you that having colourful hair really is an adventure! Little children smile at you, old ladies ask how you did it and express there awe, even the not so great stares can be funny. It can be a great way to express yourself, even if it is only for a day. Play around with streaks, dip-dyes and fringes if you don’t fancy going the full way. Directions and Manic Panic make some great semi permanent colours or you could opt for something like a wash-in-wash-out chalk for all the colour with less commitment. Just have a look around on Amazon and you can find loads of great products pretty cheap.

5- Go for a walk with no destination in mind

Not as easy as you may think. Our brains are constantly trying to plan our next more and it can be hard to just go with the flow and act spontaneously. However if you pop on some music and let you mind drift whist taking in the scenery you should be able to just wander aimlessly and enjoy the experience. If you are going to do this I would recommend freeing up your schedule because nothing ruins a relaxing stroll like knowing you need to be back to babysit in 2 hours and you still need to shower.

6- Pick a random subject to research

Okay, I know that sounds a bit nerdy but trust me it can be fun! I love Wikipedia and although it’s not the most reliable source if you are trying to write an academic paper, it is pretty good if you just want to gain some base knowledge on a subject. Just rummage around in your brain and find something you would love to know more about, I’m sure there’s something in there even if you have to dig deep. Just in case here’s a few ideas- Medieval Architecture, Farming, The Milky Way, Bras and Pizza. Totally random, just work with it. 3…2…1… GO!

7- Read a book recommend to you  

Ask one of your friends what their favourite book is then go out and read it, no questions asked. Even if you hate the author, don’t like the genre or think it is to long, just do it. Sure maybe you won’t like it but maybe you will! Pop into a second hand book store to find it or look online for an ebook or even borrow it from the friend, it needn’t be expensive. Also reading something recommended by a friend often gives you insight into the person who recommended it. It will also give the two of you something fun to discuss over coffee.

8- Go to watch a random movie at the cinema

Just go to the cinema, glance through the movies and pick one that’s on soon, get some popcorn, sit back and relax. Like most of the things on this list this may be a great idea or a terrible one but that’s why it’s an adventure, you just don’t know how it’s gonna go. The fun is in not knowing. I did this the other day and watched “Absolutely Anything” and it was amazing, so glad I did it. To make this even more of an adventure go alone, make it a bit of a radical self love date, treat yo self!

I could go on and on and on- learn a new craft, go to a new cafe, learn a new language, go on a spontaneous weekend away, compliment people in the supermarket. Moving outside of your comfort zone is an adventure and it really makes life much more fun!

Let me know if you try any of these things or any other adventures, I really would love to hear about them. And of course remember- adventure is out there!

Toodles.